EPA Selects Four Projects in Georgia to Receive $2 Million for Brownfields Cleanup and Assessment
The grant awards help underserved communities across the country Build Back Better and address Environmental Justice concerns
ATLANTA (May 12, 2021) – This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of four projects in Georgia for Brownfields grants totaling $2,095,000. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
“Through our Brownfields Program, EPA is delivering on the Biden Administration’s commitment to lifting up and protecting overburdened communities across America, especially communities that have experienced long periods of disinvestment and decay,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These assessment and cleanup grants will not only support economic growth and job creation, but they will also empower communities to address the environmental, public health, and social issues associated with contaminated land.”
“EPA’s Brownfields funding has a proven track record of transforming communities and turning abandoned and contaminated sites into true public assets,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator John Blevins. “Brownfields projects spur economic development and attract jobs, grow innovative and lasting partnerships and can revitalize underserved communities.”
Nationally, EPA selected 151 communities to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in Brownfields funding through its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grants. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in or serving small communities. In the southeast, 37 grants totaling over $14 million will go to organizations or communities across the eight southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The grant recipients in Georgia include:
City of Albany - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to develop 10 Phase I and four Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to prepare four cleanup and reuse plans, develop a community involvement plan, and conduct other community involvement activities. The target area for this grant is Albany’s downtown and adjacent historic African-American Harlem District. Priority sites include the historic Ritz and Albany Theaters.
College Park Business and Industrial Development Authority - $800,000 Multipurpose Grant will be used to develop one Phase I and five Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds will also be used to conduct cleanup and reuse planning and community outreach activities. The target areas for this project are properties along the Flint River and its tributaries in and around the City of College Park. Priority sites include the Headwaters Nature Preserve, the Sullivan Creek Assemblage of six historically industrial parcels, the former Kathleen Mitchell elementary school, and the former Godby Road dry cleaner.
College Park - $300,000 Assessment will be used to conduct 16 Phase I and five Phase II environmental site assessments and prepare five cleanup plans. Grant funds also will be used to conduct reuse planning and community outreach activities. The target area for this grant is the Six West District, a previously developed but now mostly vacant area lying between the College Park Convention Center and the downtown districts. Priority sites include the former Moody’s Wrecker Service property slated to be redeveloped as a stormwater management park called The Landing Park, a site slated to be redeveloped as an African American Music Museum and Theater, and a site at 1904 W Harvard Avenue that formerly was used as an auto repair, filling station, and dry cleaner. A $395,000 Cleanup Grant will be used to clean up the nearly one-acre Main Street Assemblage site located at 3303, 3317, and 3321 Main Street and 1747 Mercer Avenue. The cleanup site was converted from single-family residences into retail and commercial businesses in the 1940s. Former uses include a former gas station, auto repair facility, and dry cleaner. The site is contaminated with petroleum, dry cleaning solvents including tetrachloroethylene and 1,2- dichloroethene, heavy metals, and inorganic materials. Grant funds also will be used to develop reuse plans and conduct community outreach activities.
Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County - $300,000 Assessment Grant will be used to develop an inventory of sites, and conduct 14 Phase I and six Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to conduct cleanup and reuse planning and community outreach activities. Assessment activities will focus on the Decatur County Industrial Park and Commodore Industrial Park target areas, which are located a few miles outside of the City of Bainbridge and were used by the U.S. Army as airfields from the 1940s to the 1960s. Priority sites include a former landfill and borrow pits in the Commodore Industrial Park and a facility that was used to produce chrome parts for vehicles in the Decatur County Industrial Park.
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants.
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
- To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
- Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
- In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities.
- Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields